By: Gabriela Yareliz - Founder of Modern Witnesses (blog / Instagram)
“The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:14 NLT
At the beginning of 2020, I saw Exodus 14:14 everywhere. I would even see it in the background of other people’s photos (I am not kidding). I am always paying attention to random details, but this verse’s reappearance was not random at all. I had no idea, at that time, how much I was going to need that verse. The battle hadn’t even begun for me, but the verse was everywhere. (God was speaking truth into my life). Once the battle was raging, I clung to that verse. I want you to know, dear friend, that this verse is a promise, and God keeps His promises.
Here are some other things I know:
I know He is with you. Live your life with this certainty.
I know He is speaking to you. Pay attention.
I know He is waiting for you to come to Him. Pray more.
I know He wants you to trust Him. Know Him, intimately.
I know He has a plan, even if we don’t always understand the journey. Be courageous.
I know that if you feel numb or disappointed, don’t think that’s the end of your story.
Go to Him. Plead with Him. Tell Him to fight for you.
We’ve lived through a historic year, to say the least. (If you thrived in 2020 and your dreams came true, God bless you.) For me, 2020 had a darker theme-- this past season was filled with a lot of anguish and unexpected turns. Loved ones were ill, some friends and family passed away, and some dreams were dashed when the year revealed itself to be all but what I expected (and I really hadn’t entered the year with very specific expectations—it was just bleak vibes, you know?).
The year left me feeling numb, trapped and confused. On top of the general pandemic mayhem and very real grief and loss (and throw in some USA political insanity, and you have quite the year), I had a very personal hope that was smashed. I had started the year hoping for an exciting chapter in my own personal journey that I had prayed about for a very long time. I felt God had led me through a door into a new room, and it turned out to be ugly and quite terrible. This is what You had in mind? I remember asking God. I didn’t understand why my journey had led me there (still don’t, to be honest). What exactly was I to learn from this nightmare? Despite its insanity, the year continued to point me to a simple fact: God’s hand is still mighty, and He is constantly fighting for us. I knew a couple of things, despite the circumstances: I was not alone; I was not trapped (even though this is how I felt); and God was still leading. (I also knew that I was going to need God’s direct intervention because there was no way I could “fix” my circumstances in the middle of a raging pandemic, stuck in my little NYC apartment).
This past year taught me how to pray in a different way. Inspired by a friend, I started doing daily prayer walks. The prayer list grew long. The walks kept me sane. There were days I would come to God crying and pleading. Some days, I was literally on my face, begging for the lives and wellbeing of others. Other days, I just said a simple prayer of gratitude for the provision I knew I had received from His hand. Each day was different, but each day, I was walking with Him. I knew He was listening. I witnessed my own miracles.
Listen, not everything was perfect. Not every prayer was answered as I would have liked. Not everything was resolved. Not everything was “fixed” or made easy. No. But I can tell you, He fought for me. I repeatedly saw how God intervened in my life and in the lives of others. As for that nightmare room I had entered, you may ask-- well, the season ended with the start of a new chapter filled with hope, as He delivered me from that personal situation of disappointment. He continued to lead me in that journey that seemed to hit a dead end of disappointment, step-by-step. I did my part as I heard Him speak to my heart, and God continued to open doors until, ultimately, He did what others would say was impossible in the middle of our global circumstance.
Many of us are carrying heavy burdens from this past year. Take those to Him. The loss, the pain, the confusion. He can handle it. Whatever you have gone through; wherever you are; whatever your hopes and dreams are for this new season—no matter what you have lost or gained, know that God’s mighty hand is for you, with you and fighting for you.
As we enter a new season, let us turn toward it filled with hope. If we don’t have hope, we have nothing. Our hope rests in who God is. He is good. He is kind. And more importantly, He is present with us. He is a warrior. He always wins. Whatever is not made right in the present season, we have the hope He is coming to make all things right and new. He has promised. Never lose your grip on that knowledge.
May we rest in Him, as the Psalmist says, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5
Go to Him in prayer. Go with peace in your heart. Walk with Him. There is a battle raging. Armor up and know that He Himself will fight for you. The God of the universe is fighting for you. For you.
This is one of my very favorite verses going way back! I thank God for your bold witness, your honesty and your clear beauty in the midst of the brokenness we all share. Grateful to walk with you in this journey<3
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